COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Fire Marshal is reminding Ohioians to have a safe Independence Day celebration by being careful with fireworks.

Firework displays are popular during the summer, especially surrounding the Fourth of July holiday. Here are some tips on a safe and legal celebration.

What fireworks are legal in Ohio?
The only firework products permitted in Ohio for use are designated “trick and novelty” – such as smokes, sparklers, snaps, and snakes. Keep in mind that even trick and novelty fireworks can cause serious injury. Here are some safety tips:

• Handle and discharge trick and novelty devices only under adult supervision.
• Appoint one adult to be in charge. This person should know the hazards of each type of firework being used.
• Carefully read and follow the directions on the trick and novelty device packaging.
• Light only one sparkler at a time and hold it away from your body and others.
• Sparkler wires, which can burn up to 1800 degrees, should immediately be placed in a bucket of water to avoid injury as they remain hot for a few minutes after burnout.
• If someone gets burned, run cool water over the wound for two to three minutes and seek medical attention when necessary.

“Keep in mind that even trick and novelty fireworks, like sparklers, are inherently dangerous and can cause serious injuries,” said State Fire Marshal Jeff A. Hussey.

Ohioans may buy consumer, or 1.4g (fire crackers, bottle rockets, etc.), fireworks from a licensed wholesaler or manufacturer; however, they cannot be discharged in the state. Consumer fireworks purchased in Ohio must be taken out of the state within 48 hours of the purchase. – Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 3743.65

Who can shoot consumer fireworks in Ohio?
Only a licensed fireworks exhibitor can discharge consumer fireworks in Ohio. Those interested in becoming a licensed exhibitor must apply with the Bureau of Testing and Registration (T&R), pass an exam, and complete a background check. Applicants must submit a letter of proficiency in the handling and discharging of fireworks from an Ohio licensed exhibitor or possess a certified copy of a fireworks license from another state.

What is the process for fireworks exhibitions?
An exhibition permit is required for all firework exhibitions, which is issued by the local fire chief, police chief or county sheriff. The permit specifies the date, time, location and other parameters of how the exhibition will be executed. Applicants must be a licensed fireworks exhibitor, and the fireworks must be purchased from an Ohio licensed wholesaler, manufacturer, or out-of-state shipper. Authorities inspect the exhibition site before, during and after the exhibition using a State Fire Marshal issued checklist. Federal, state and local laws and regulations must be followed. The exhibition must also comply with the Ohio Fire Code and the safety provisions outlined in the O.R.C. (ORC. 3743.50 – 3743.56). During the shoot, only registered employees and the certified fire safety official are allowed within the discharge site.

Are there penalties for failing to follow Ohio’s fireworks laws?
Yes. Most first-time violations are first-degree misdemeanors, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. Illegal fireworks can be confiscated by law enforcement authorities. Violations include failing to transport fireworks out of state within the specified time period and discharging fireworks.

Area Celebrations

Additionally, area villages will be putting on firework displays throughout the county. On July 4 at 10 p.m. the Racine Fire Department will have their annual display at Star Mill Park. Middleport will have their display also on July 4 at 10 p.m. The Rutland Fire Department will set theirs off on July 7 at 10 p.m.

For more information on area Independence Day celebrations, click on the link below.

Independence Day parades and fireworks set throughout Meigs